Not Filling Out FAFSA Properly Could Cost Oklahoma Families


Tuesday, January 13th 2015, 11:45 pm
By: News On 6


Oklahoma families are missing out on millions. The money's up for grabs, but applications for college scholarships can be time consuming and confusing.

A local college financial aid advisor said the number one mistake parents and students make when filling out scholarship applications is putting down the wrong social security number, or misspelling names.

There are some new steps you can take to avoid those mishaps that could cost you thousands in scholarship funds.

Tulsa Community College Director of Financial Aid, Karen Jeffers, said every high school senior should file a free application for federal student aid; but that can be easier said than done.

FAFSA asks for your income, expenses and net worth, not to mention social security numbers, driver's license numbers and more.

"It's to get a real snapshot of the family's ability to pay," Jeffers said.

To make it easier, you can now import your federal tax information from IRS.gov, directly to your FAFSA.

Even so, last year high school graduates in Oklahoma missed out on more than $45 million in Pell Grant aid.

“If a student doesn't turn in everything that a college or university has requested it is possible that they may not have met all the requirements," said Jeffers.

Forbes said, even if you think you make too much money to qualify for federal aid, apply.

Changes in the number of children in college, household size and marital status can determine your eligibility.

Aside from federal grants, FastWeb.com is another free resource to find scholarships - many of them due in February of March.

"Check with your high school counselors as they are often a source of great information on scholarships that they know their students receive," said Jeffers.

Students should file a FAFSA every year they're in college, because subtle changes can change eligibility.